When Benedict Arnold betrayed America, do you suppose anyone talked about the embarrassment of it?
Of course not. The focus was on him being a traitor, so much so that his name rolls off the tongue centuries later.
Likewise, the focus today should be not on the embarrassment of the 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic communications and documents released by website Wikileaks, but on the act of treason and espionage it represents.
We agree completely with the courageous U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who argues that Wikileaks is a terrorist organization and ought to be labeled and treated as such. If convicted, anyone and everyone who conspired in the leaks of classified documents, intended solely to harm U.S. interests domestically and around the world, should be summarily executed as spies, traitors and terrorists.
Wikileaks previously released a trove of U.S. secret documents pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- so it's not like this is a fluke or a beginner's misstep. This organization has set out to harm America.
In so doing, it has compromised U.S. national security and likely has endangered American troops and citizens in ways no one yet knows.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is every bit the wartime criminal he believes others to be.
It will be interesting to see whether Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, already being held on suspicion of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, has his fingerprints on the latest classified breach.
If so, it will help define the difference between "whistleblower" and "traitor." A whistleblower works within systems to get them to admit unpleasant truths; a traitor reveals secrets about his country that he knows will harm it.
Benedict Arnold was largely let off -- which makes you wonder if the man whose name is synonymous with treason did less damage to the United States than today's serpents.
To hell with embarrassment. It's whoever did this that ought to feel the utmost shame -- and incur the ultimate penalty.